Winter sunshine means it’s full steam ahead with construction

Pool being fitted in La Durantie

 

As winter starts in The Tarn significant progress is being made at La Durantie, thanks to a spell of good weather and winter sunshine. With numerous projects commencing onsite, the team are working hard to complete ‘La Cour Braucol’ in December. Houses in the mini-hamlets are now being fitted with pools which are integrated into the house design. Homeowners that have opted for a pool will soon be able to enjoy a view from their living area over the sparkling water. Alternatively, owners can choose to have additional paving and planters which can be used to fill the space.

 

A third of what is produced in construction that is visible  overground is in fact going on underground.  An entire new network  of drains, fresh water, and rain water, electric  cabling and fibre optic  is being created, built in an efficient environmentally respectful way.

 

The team are also hard at work with the underground wet utility pipeline installation, ensuring a clean and safe water system is readily available to all homeowners at La Durantie.

 

A harmony of colours, stone rendering on the exterior walls of homes at La Durantie

 

A view of the development of the third hamlet La Cour Pruneland underway

 

Plot seven in La Cour Gamay with completed stone rendering

 

Layering tiles onto plot thirteen in La Cour Pruneland

 

Homeowners at La Durantie will soon be able to enjoy cooking in their own bespoke modern Pyram kitchens, brimming with the latest Bosche appliances and stone granite or quartz worktops. Designed by UK based kitchen designer Keith Brisley, the kitchens have a sense of space and light which make cooking in them a delight. Every kitchen is personalised, and so owners are also given the opportunity to add their own personal touches and can choose from a range of designs, materials and textures. By reserving their villas whilst they are being built, homeowners can really benefit from this opportunity.

 

Le Corduries 2-bedroom home with fitted kitchen

 

The build at La Durantie is progressing rapidly, with the completion of the first hamlet ‘La Cour Braucol’ planned for December and the second hamlet ‘La Cour Gamay’ due for completion in March 2017. The works on the third hamlet, ‘La Cour Prunelard’ are also well underway, scheduled for completion at the end of May 2017.

 

As the countryside in La Durantie turns to stunning shades of gold and brown, the locals delight in a local tradition – the mushroom season. From mid November to mid December, the mushroom gathering season is an important part of the calendar, which brings with it great excitement. With almost all generations taking part in the mushroom-gathering, this national pastime is the perfect activity for all the family. Searching for mushrooms in the nearby forests requires good local knowledge and can be exhausting, but the rewards are most certainly worth it. The ‘trompette de mort mushrooms’ and ‘pied de mouton’ mushrooms can be found in the Grésigne forest just nearby La Durantie. Favourite recipes with the wild-mushrooms include risottos, sauces and soups but a cêpe omelette is perhaps the best way of savouring the flavour, a simple yet delicious dish.

 

Keep checking our blog for news on La Durantie and The Tarn or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.

 

Trompettes de mort mushrooms picked from the Grésigne forest.

 

Wild mushroom risotto

 

Ingredients

50g pied de mouton

1 onion finely chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic clove, finely chopped

250g Trompettes de mort mushrooms

300g risotto rice, such as Arborio

1 x 175ml glass white wine

25g butter

Handful parsley leaves, chopped

50g parmesan or grana Padano, freshly grated

 

Recipe from BBC Good Food, see here


First homes sold at La Durantie

Happy homeowner of plot one

 

As temperatures begin to cool in the Tarn, there is an exciting progression in the development of houses and communal areas in La Durantie. With the completion of 10 houses in the mini-hamlets that make up ‘La Cour Braucol’ and ‘La Cour Gamay’ and with three completed sales, a real sense of progress is emerging… The other hamlets in La Durantie are also developing rapidly with the foundations of La Cour Pruneland in place and awaiting completion.

 

One happy homeowner comments ‘I grew up in the Tarn, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity of a second home where I spent a lot of my childhood. It’s a beautiful area, and I am looking forward to meeting the other new homeowners.’

 

To complement the harmonious community, homeowners are offered the luxury of designing their own homes with a selection of colours that ensure a sense of space, light and a connection with nature. They also have the opportunity to choose from a range of designs, materials, and textures to furnish the interior and exterior of their new homes.

 

Shutters in duck egg blue

 

First completed kitchen with quartz work top

 

Two modern Pyram kitchens have also now been installed with the latest Bosche appliances, owners can also choose from a wide range of colours and work surfaces to suit their individual tastes.

 

Living area fitted with travertine flooring

 

With landscaping now underway, the workers are busy creating a sanctuary where owners can escape from the busy city and enjoy a glass of wine, a good book or spend time with family and friends in the outdoor area of their luxury holiday home.

 

Landscaping prior to planting

 

Owning a home in La Durantie features maximum flexibility, even when it comes to the outdoor space. Homeowners will have control over how their garden looks and can select from a wide range of accessories – everything from furniture, statues and pots to gazebos and arches along with water features and decorative supports. They can also have a choice in the lighting, irrigation systems, decking and additional planting.

 

Jeanne hard at work digging her way through to your luxury holiday home

 

Water retaining tanks 80 cubic metres which will be pumped up from the lakes to water plants

 

Limestone facing the adjoining walls to the villas

 

As you can see there are lots of exciting developments going on at La Durantie. The first two hamlets are completed. La Cour Prunelard is scheduled for completion in April 2017 and the next hamlet due for the following summer. With planning and construction well on schedule, the first seventeen homes will be available for rental from the 1st July 2017.

Keep checking our blog for news on La Durantie and The Tarn or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


Autumn Delights Year After Year

 

With average October temperatures reaching 20°C and an array of outdoor activities in the nearby area, La Durantie is perfect for those looking to reconnect with nature year after year. Autumn sees the Tarn’s beautiful landscape come alive with colour as both the vines and leaves transform into brilliant shades of orange, red and yellow.

 

The end of September signals the start of the grape harvest, also commonly known as ‘la vendange’, and brings with it a range of exciting opportunities for wine lovers. Homeowners can take part in local wine harvest celebrations including one hosted by the town of Cestyarols on the 10th October, just 20 minutes from La Durantie, which includes an apéro concert and an evening meal accompanied by delicious local wine.

 

Riding through the vines at La Durantie

 

The vineyard at La Durantie is managed by Alain Gayrel and son, members of the development team.  With vines situated on-site, homeowners at La Durantie can look forward to drinking their own Gaillac wine whilst sitting on the terrace of their holiday home. Owners will even be given a bottle of La Durantie wine upon purchase.

 

Vineyard at La Durantie (©Stephen Foote – Stephenfootephotography.co.uk)

 

La Durantie’s own sauvignon wine (©Stephen Foote – Stephenfootephotography.co.uk)

 

Home to a diverse and dramatic landscape, the nearby area offers a wealth of outdoor autumn activities, designed to help you recharge your batteries whilst exploring nature along the way. Traffic-free cycle paths for example make it easy to safely explore the area by bike. The ‘Droits de l’Homme’ greenway spans for 48km across gentle terrain, taking cyclists on a leisurely ride through some of the Tarn’s best unspoilt countryside. The route passes through the town of Castres, also known as ‘little Venice’, a reference to its pastel coloured houses sitting on the banks of the Argout River. Other places of interest en route include Lautrec, listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France featuring a charming 17th century windmill, and the city of Albi (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

 

The town of Castres, sitting on the banks of the Argout River (© CDT C. Riviere – tourisme-tarn.com)

 

The forested area of Sidobre, situated two hours from La Durantie in the Haut Languedoc Regional Park, is the ideal day trip for nature lovers. It is home to strange rock formations caused by a stream of molten magma three hundred years ago. The area offers miles of clearly signposted trails, making it easy to walk amid the autumn coloured trees and fascinating stones. Take photos hanging off the ‘Peyro Clabado’, a 780 ton rock of massive granite perfectly balanced on a rock of only 1 m² or cool off from the Autumn sun at the ‘blackbird lake’ (Le Lac du Merle).

 

Peyro Clabado, Sidobre (© CDT C. Riviere – tourisme-tarn.com)

 

Other popular outdoor pursuits include horse riding through the Grésigne forest which sits adjacent to La Durantie, or taking in the bird’s eye view of the Tarn on a hot air balloon ride. Keep checking our blog for news on The Tarn and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


First homes taking shape at La Durantie

As the Tarn basked in scorching temperatures as high as 32°C this month, significant progress was made at La Durantie. The first homes are almost complete with the installation of interior fittings now well underway. All the houses at La Durantie are grouped into mini-hamlets named after different wine varieties grown in the nearby area. The five houses making up ‘La Cour Braucol’ are now almost finished, with their completion anticipated by September.

 

Plot one in La Cour Braucol almost complete, with stone rendering and duck egg blue shutters now in place. Owners can choose from a selection of colours for the shutters.

 

Stone rendering complete of plot one and two in La Cour Braucol.

 

Plot seven in La Cour Gamay prior to stone rendering.

 

Roof of plot 10 in La Cour Gamay going on.

 

Kitchen fitted in the Castlenau model.

 

Kitchen units with integrated washing machine and dishwasher

 

Bath / shower rooms fitted in plot one and two. Owners can choose form an attractive pallet of ceramic tiles.

 

La Durantie offers owners the maximum level of flexibility when it comes to furnishing their new homes, whilst making the process as easy as possible. Owners can pick and choose from a wide range of high-quality, attractive furniture and appliances, with different options available ranging from double and single beds to office space with desk and sofa bed.

 

In conjunction with UK based kitchen designer Keith Brisley, owners can also choose their own kitchen colours and work tops made out of either granite or quartz composites.  The furniture packages will compliment these.

 

Planning is underway for the landscaping which will be carried out during the autumn’s cooler weather.  A large retention lake has been installed on the perimeter of the domain to ensure that rainwater drains away naturally, without disrupting nearby flora and fauna. This water is then pumped back up the hill to the site to be used for watering purposes.

 

The first two sales will be completed by the end of this month. Keep checking our blog for exciting news at La Durantie and in The Tarn or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


The impact of Brexit on property buyers and expats in France

British homeowners at La Durantie may be wondering what impact Brexit will have on owning property in France. Karen Tait, Editor of French Property News, is one of our favoured industry experts who has visited and reported on La Durantie in the past and here is her insight into the consequences of Brexit…

“The announcement that the UK has voted to leave the EU will lead to some uncertainty and concern among British people living in France and those planning to buy property across the Channel.

Over the next two years, the terms of the UK’s new status will be determined and the impact on the overseas property market will be unsure until negotiations between the UK and the EU are finalised. However, while we expect the market to hold its breath in the short term, we believe that people looking to buy a property in France will still be able to realise their dream and that the process is unlikely to become much more complicated than at present. After all, non-EU residents have been buying in France for many years and British people bought property across the Channel before Britain joined the EU.

We understand a lot of British people living in France will be concerned about their situation, especially with regards to their right to live and work in France and their access to healthcare. Once the UK has formally notified the EU that it wishes to leave there will be a period of negotiation and the rights and status of British people living in the EU will be high on that agenda. There will be no immediate change in your circumstances.

At present there are clearly more questions than answers, but we will endeavour to provide as much information as possible in the coming days, weeks and months. Despite the uncertainty in the run up to the referendum, we have been encouraged by the number of buyers keen to go ahead with their plans. The British love affair with France remains strong and is unlikely to be dented by the decision to leave the EU. Likewise, there are many French people living within our shores and the ‘entente cordiale’ will continue to be a binding link between our two countries.”


All hands on deck at La Durantie!

Stone pillars on the terrace in similar style to the 17th Century farm buildings

 

As temperatures reached thirty degrees in The Tarn this month, all hands were on deck to ensure the completion of the first houses at La Durantie.  Workmen are on site to complete a variety of different tasks, ranging from earthworks to plastering and painting. Significant progress was achieved on the first two houses, which saw the completion of the stone rendering on the external walls, the laying of the travertine flooring and the installation of the internal fittings well underway.

 

Installation of the elegant travertine flooring

 

Tiles added to the bathroom walls

 

Final checks before shower installation

 

First kitchen going in, Corduries model

 

Build is also progressing rapidly on the other hamlets at La Durantie, including La Cour Braucol, with the external walls and terracotta roofs of these houses now fitted. Work will start on the foundations and walls of La Cour Gamay and the foundations of La Cour Prunelard next week.  

 

Houses at La Cour Braucoul prior to stone rendering

 

La Durantie – Phase 1

 

The houses and communal areas at La Durantie will harmoniously bring together three different periods in history, each separated by two hundred years. From the 17th century stone turreted farm buildings to the 19th century belle époque chateau and the 21st century hamlets, La Durantie is an architectural wonder of history. Two hundred years later, La Durantie sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, resulting in the perfect mixture of history and nature with huge expanses of flaura and fauna right on its doorstep. Every element of the development will harmonise and bring together these three periods of history including colours, designs, materials, textures, red clay soil, oak beams, and the locally quarried limestone and sandstone. The shallow pitched terracotta roofs correspond to the same angles in the region blending seamlessly into the style of the farm buildings found in the local area.

 

Roses on the 17th century stone turreted tower at La Durantie

 

Shutters of the 21st century houses replicating the colour found on the 19th century Belle Époque chateau

 

As you can see there are lots of exciting developments going on at La Durantie. The first two houses are due for completion at the end of July with the remaining houses in La Cour Braucol anticipated by September.  La Cour Gamay is scheduled for completion in December and the next hamlet the following spring.

 

Keep checking our blog for news on La Durantie and The Tarn or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


Le Tour de France Comes to the Midi-Pyrénées!

 

The renowned Tour de France will kick-off on the 2nd July 2016 from Mont-St Michel before concluding on the Champs-Elysées in Paris on the 24th July.  Stage six will take riders down the rolling hillsides of South-West France, before their hilly ascent to the Lac de Payolle in the Pyrénées Mountains at the end of stage 7. It is during stage six that the Tour de France will pass nearby La Durantie, through the Garrigue forest situated in the Tarn department before arriving in the town of Montauban (Tarn-et-Garonne).

 

The cyclists will ride through the Midi-Pyrénées during five different stages, a full list can be seen below:

 

  • 7th July 2016: 6th stage, Arpajon sur Cère – Montauban (187 km)
  • 8th July 2016: 7th stage, L’Isle Jourdain – Lac de Payolle (162 km)
  • 9th July 2016: 8th stage, Pau – Bagnères de Luchon (183 km)
  • 10th July 2016: 9th stage, Vielha Val d’Aran – Andorra Arcalis (184 km)
  • 12th July 2016: 10th stage, Andorra Escaldes Engordany – Revel (198 km)

 

The Tour de France is the third most popular sporting event in the world, after the Olympic Games and the Football World Cup, attracting a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people per year. Chris Froome ranked number 32 in the world and Geraint Thomas ranked 36 in the world are two of the 29 Britons in the Team Sky (GB) line-up this year.

 

With the Tour de France beginning this July, The Tarn is set to become a popular destination for lycra-loving Britons seeking new cycling spots to explore. The area’s diverse and dramatic landscape lends itself perfectly to being discovered by bike, with endless cycling routes right on the doorstep of La Durantie.

 

Popular routes include the expansive Gaillac wine region or the “Circuit des Crêtes”, a 65km cycling route passing through some of The Tarn’s hidden treasures including the famous bastide village of Cordes-sur-Ciel built on a rocky outcrop overlooking vineyards and rolling hills. More adventurous routes include cycling through the Monts de Lacaune, a verdurous forest in the heart of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Park home to the Lake of Laouzas, a natural swimming lake perfect for cooling- off after a day of cycling in hot summer temperatures.

 

 

Cordes-sur-Ciel, © Le Tarn Tourisme | tourisme-tarn.com

 

Keep checking our blog for news on The Tarn and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


The UEFA European Championship shines a spotlight on the Tarn

 

Dozens of football teams will compete for the final of the European football championship in France throughout June and July, including the England, Wales and Northern Ireland teams. The matches will take place at different stadiums across France including Stadium de Toulouse, located just an hour away from La Durantie (87 km). As Britons flock the stadiums throughout France, the UEFA championship is set to shine a spotlight on lesser known areas of France, such as the Tarn. France is the second most popular place for Britons seeking a holiday home abroad, with the Midi-Pyrénées region also remaining a popular favourite.

 

The Stadium de Toulouse is the biggest in the Midi-Pyrénées region and is often referred to as ‘mini-Wembley’ because of its resemblance to the iconic London venue. In addition to football, the ground regularly holds rugby matches and was a venue for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.  Aside from cheering on your country, there is plenty to see in Toulouse, including the medieval old town, the elegant Capitole building and the Canal du Midi, which links the Garonne river to the Mediterranean Sea.

 

 

For all you football enthusiasts, here’s a schedule of the matches to be held at the Stadium de Toulouse during the UEFA European Championship:

 

- Monday 13 June, 15.00 (Toulouse): Spain v Czech Republic – Group D

- Friday 17 June, 15.00 (Toulouse): Italy v Sweden – Group E

- Monday 20 June, 21.00 (Toulouse): Russia v Wales – Group B

- Sunday 26 June, 21.00 (Toulouse): Winner F v Runner-up E – Match 6

 

Nicknamed ‘La Ville Rose’ in reference to the colour of the terracotta bricks used on many of its buildings, Toulouse is France’s fourth largest city. With regular flights to Toulouse Blagnac airport from UK airports, many Britons pass through the city on their way to the rolling hillsides of The Tarn. Boasting a dramatic landscape untouched by time, The Tarn is particularly popular amongst retirees or those seeking the tranquillity of the countryside. Home to undulating vineyards, the Aveyron Gorges, bastide hilltop villages and the winding Tarn River, France doesn’t get much more idyllic than the Tarn.

 

 

Keep checking our blog for upcoming events and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


Homes in one of the sunniest regions in France

Sunflowers along the road to La Durantie

 

La Durantie is situated in the Midi-Pyrénées, one of the sunniest regions in France and has numerous natural lakes right on its doorstep. The region enjoys an average of 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the average maximum temperatures ranging from 16 to 24°C during spring, and from 26°C to 28°C during the summer months. Autumn is also often blessed with a gentle Indian summer, with maximum temperatures reaching between 21°C to 25°C. From mid to late summer the rolling hills of the Tarn will be covered in a blanket of sunflowers for all residents and visitors to enjoy.

 

With La Durantie located just 600 metres away from La base de Loisirs Vère-Grésigne, a natural waterpark, residents at La Durantie can access a variety of water-based activities with ease. It features three natural lakes – a swimming lake with a large waterslide and life guard ideal for families with young children, a boating lake with pedalos and canoes, and a fishing lake. It also features a sandy beach perfect for some much needed relaxation in the sunshine.

 

The nearby area offers an array of outdoor activities for every generation, from gentle pursuits such as fishing in the many rivers and lakes in the area, to rambling or cycling through the wonderful gorges and valleys whilst taking in views of the surrounding medieval bastide towns. Water sports in the area include kayaking, canyoning, sailing, windsurfing and even stand up paddle boarding, now one of the fastest growing water sports in the world! Canoes can be rented from Variation, just outside the village of Penne, located 18km from La Durantie, with prices starting from €30 for a half day for two adults and one child. Here, residents can canoe down the dramatic Aveyron gorges, featuring sheer white cliffs and exuberant vegetation.

 

© Le Tarn Tourisme | tourisme-tarn.com

 

La Durantie sits adjacent to the Grésigne forest, one of the largest oak forests in Europe boasting 3600 hectares of outstanding natural beauty. Home to its own stables, riders at la Durantie will be able to delve deep amongst this unspoilt, hilly woodland. Situated 500 metres from La Durantie’s chateau, there will be 18 boxes for horses, one riding court and one lunging ring, laid out on a 30 hectare site comprising fields and woodland. Alternatively, there are a number of stables located within the forest offering horse riding.

 

© Le Tarn Tourisme | tourisme-tarn.com

 

Hiking is also one of the best ways to explore this beautiful area of South-West France. Miles of marked hiking paths by the ‘Fédération Française de Randonnée Pédestre’ make it easy to navigate through The Tarn’s unspoilt landscape and lush greenery. Popular trails include the vineyards of Gaillac, the hilltop bastide villages, the Vère Valley and the Aveyron Gorges.

 

© Le Tarn Tourisme | tourisme-tarn.com

 

As you can see The Tarn offers a wealth of pursuits during the summer time. Keep checking our blog for news on The Tarn and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.


Vineyard homes in the largest wine producing region in the world

 

Following the announcement of the new Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées region, La Durantie is situated in the largest wine producing region in the world, in terms of surface area. Made up of 273,000 hectares, the area produces around 15 million hectolitres per year, under the wine labels Appelation d’Origine Protégée (AOP) and Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP).  Promoted under the umbrella brands Sud de France and Vins du Sud-Ouest, exports of these regional wines are growing rapidly, enjoyed in countries as far as China and The United States of America. See link to infographic here

 

This bodes well for home owners at La Durantie wishing to rent out their home for part of the year as the Midi-Pyrénées continues to grow in popularity among Britons seeking a holiday home overseas. Rightmove Overseas Search Trends illustrate that the Midi-Pyrénées has experienced a year-on-year increase from November 2015 – February 2016, in November (15.6%), December (29.8%), January (19.2%) and February (31.2%).  Similarly, the beautiful bastide village of Cordes sur Ciel , sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking vineyards and rolling hills, was among the top ten most searched locations in France on aplaceinthesun.com (in Spring 2016).

 

 

La Durantie sits on a wine domain, overlooking undulating vineyards and miles of oak forest, boasting its own wine label and discounts for home owners. Gaillac, just 10km away, is one of France’s première wine regions, covering around 2,000 hectares, with the first vine plantations dating back to Roman times. In 1983 the vineyards were among the first to be accorded the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, a French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses and other agricultural products. The geographical area of Gaillac is so varied, resulting in two very distinct vine-growing areas.  The left bank of The Tarn River tends to be planted with red varietals, whilst the right bank contains a higher proportion of limestone and granite, making it more favourable to white varietals.

 

The area offers an array of possibilities for wine enthusiasts, including tastings at Chateau de Mayragues or cycling through the expansive vineyards. One way to get around as many vignerons as possible is to drive or cycle the Route des Vins, with 112 vignerons producing Gaillac wine (AOC), including the Gaillac Fraîcheur Perlée, a semi-sparkling dry white wine, or the Gaillac Primeur red, known for its distinctive fruity taste.

 

As you can see The Tarn is an attractive region for wine lovers. Keep checking our blog for news on The Tarn and exciting developments at La Durantie or follow us on Twitter @ChateauDurantie and like our Facebook page La Durantie.